Footballers thanked by NHS

The Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together (NHSCT) has thanked Premier League footballers after they partnered with the organisation.

The players have launched a “collective initiative” to help generate funds for the National Health Service and distribute them “where they are needed most”.

The initiative - named #PlayersTogether - has been set up to “help those fighting for us on the NHS frontline” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“It sends an amazing message of support to the NHS staff and volunteers working so tirelessly to save lives,” CEO Ellie Orton told the BBC.

More than 7,000 people have died with coronavirus in the UK, according to the latest Department of Health figures.

In a statement posted by more than 150 top-flight players on social media, the footballers said they were “collaborating together to create a voluntary initiative, separate to any other league and club conversation”.

The intention is “to try and help, along with so many others in the country, to make a real difference”.

The level of contributions has not been announced but the players said the initiative would help "quickly grant funds to the NHS frontline".

Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford told BT Sport: “I think there has been plenty of occasions, for me personally, where we've tried to help but we've not helped in the best way possible.

“You can get some backlash from that. We wanted to take our time with the decision.

“We want to help in the best way possible and getting money to the right places is a massive thing.”